EVERYONE Has Read This but Me - The Catch-Up Book Club discussion

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MODERN CLASSICS/POPULAR READS > It - *SPOILERS*

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message 1: by Kaseadillla (last edited Oct 01, 2017 09:42AM) (new)

Kaseadillla | 1349 comments Mod
Hello all - starting up discussions for the OCTOBER 2017 BOTMs. This discussion is for the group's poll selection for the MODERN CLASSICS/POPULAR READS category: It by Stephen King.

This discussion will be FULL OF SPOILERS. If you have not read the book yet and don't want to ruin the ending, hop on over to the spoiler-free discussion HERE .

Happy reading!
Kasey


message 2: by Lyn (new)

Lyn (sinovera) | 16 comments I actually read this book last month. Somehow I just happened to pick it without realizing that the new movie for it was coming out. I had no idea about the movie but was happy to see it after I finished the book. I enjoyed it.

Anyways, I really liked the characters in this book. I became attached to the group of "losers" and they came alive for me. I just finished Stephen King's The Stand as well and he kinda has a similar way of creating characters in that one as in IT... but I didn't like them the way I did the Losers. I don't know what it is about the Losers; I feel like I just connect with them. Their individual personalities were what made this book so great for me.

Reading other people's reviews of it, the thing a lot of people have a problem with is its rambling nature. The overly long and unnecessary parts that you just trudge through until you finally reach something you're interested in. But I didn't really feel that way. I liked hearing more about the Losers and their world. I liked that their world and their lives were fleshed out like as if I wasn't just reading a thriller book but rather an account of their lives.

Of course, no discussion of IT can go without bringing up the taboo children's orgy scene. I never get disgusted by anything I read in fiction so my reaction to it isn't really typical. Yes, it was really weird. Could the book have gone without it? Yes. But I wasn't that bothered by it.

Again, going through reviews of this book, people seem very confused as to why this even happened. One in particular stuck to my mind. A person asked why the hell having sex suddenly allowed Beverly to find their way out of the tunnels. The sex wasn't about finding an escape route. The sex was about bringing the group together and binding them to one another. It was also a bridge from their childhood to adulthood. A way for them to insert a bit of adulthood into their childhood and a bit of childhood into their adulthood. That way they never lost that spark that allowed them to fight IT in the first place. It allowed them to remember later on when they were adults because they forever entwined childhood and adulthood together.
At least that's my interpretation of it. Of course, there's other ways to read it.


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 729 comments Sinovera, I've been wanting to talk to someone who has read the book and the movie! When the movie was over, how did you feel??? I have strong opinions on this movie! Do you think they'll do a sequel about coming back together because of the pact? I thought it was interesting their adult lives were not part of the story, since the book is about them coming back as adults.

I personally was very disappointed in the movie! I won't say why because I want to leave a blank slate for those of you who haven't seen it yet!

I should get back to reading IT sometime this week, I'm very excited about it! Then I want to watch the old version, as I'm not sure I ever actually have! I just remember scary ass snippets from childhood lol


message 4: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 729 comments The only good thing about the movie being what it was to me (thumbs down and way diff than the book) is that I saw the movie 200 Pages into reading the book because I didn't wanna miss the outing with my local book/movie club. I thought it would ruin the book for me, but it only made me more excited to get back to the book because it's so much better, I prefer the plot line, and my imagination creeps me out way more than the movie's special effects!


message 5: by Bethany (new)

Bethany | 90 comments Steven King can tell a good story and he creates a good universe. What actually got me to read IT was reading 11/22/63. The characters of IT are revisited in that novel. Then I read a novel by Joe Hill, Steven Kings son, where he references Pennywise's circus. I thought it was cool how all of these stories connected in this creepy universe (which was also shown in The Dark Tower movie).
The building of the universe is what seems to cause the rambling parts. Those parts, like the night club fire and Henry Bowers past, etc. add to the atmosphere that something is significantly wrong with this town. The new movie touches on some of these parts in a way that the older adaptation does not. The new movie also chose to deal with some of the more controversial aspects of the book in ways I disagree with, too, but overall, it was a pretty decent start to adapting this novel.


message 6: by Mariana (new)

Mariana | 519 comments I read this book about eleven years ago and remember very little of it. It was hard to read, tedious and the ending was a bunch of smoke. Too long to re-read in case I missed something, even my physical copy seems to have gotten lost in movings and lendings. Nevermore!


message 7: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I've always loved this book and a big part of that is what some are referring to as the "rambling nature" of King's style. I never feel he is rambling, rather weaver a larger a world with more and more detail and I never get enough of that.

Sinovera, while I understand the reasons for the scene, I think a writer like King could have come up with a better bridge between childhood and adulthood and a less... icky bonding experience for the Losers.

I've read this book numerous time and always just skip that scene. Once was enough for me.

I loved the new movie and because it's only the first half, cannot wait to see what the "adult" portion looks like in two years. The changes they made felt justified to me and they seemed to get the parts I felt were most significant on screen. Skarsgard's Pennywise was terrific. The drool bothered me more than anything. Skeevy!


message 8: by Lyn (last edited Oct 01, 2017 10:22PM) (new)

Lyn (sinovera) | 16 comments Sarah wrote: "Sinovera, I've been wanting to talk to someone who has read the book and the movie! When the movie was over, how did you feel??? I have strong opinions on this movie! Do you think they'll do a sequ..."

I actually really liked the movie. They changed a lot of things but I think they kind of had to in order for it to be a coherent movie by itself to people who haven't read the book. They changed some of the character's fears in ways that fit a bit better. Like Mike's fear in the book was the bird but in the movie it was the people trapped in the fire and struggling to get out. It just made a bit more of a connection to his back story.

I didn't find it all that scary. Only startling in the jump scare portions. But they certainly made it creepy. I loved the cast; I think the children did a great job with their roles.

As Kandice says, they are making a sequel to it to show the adult portion. I think that was a good decision since the back and forth way of telling the story would not work as well in a movie. Plus, it's just a LOT of content to fit into a movie. I'm glad they decided not to condense the story but just made it two movies.


@ Kandice: Yes, agreed on the fact that he could definitely have made it much less "icky". But I guess his mind just works in a different way from most people's and that's how we get these great books.... but also once in a while we get scenes that don't agree with us. In any case, SK doesn't seem to ever concern himself with political correctness or sensitivity to touchy subjects.


message 9: by Mariah (new)

Mariah Knight (mariahmknight) | 26 comments I finished this book last week. I thought it started out great and ended pretty good. I had no idea what I was getting into because I never saw the movie (haven't seen the new one yet either, but plan to go soon).

I'm not a fan of the orgy scene. But, before that even happened, I was uncomfortable about the sexualization of Bev for the entire book. There are so many small things said/done that are unnecessary. Can't a girl be friends with a group of guys without it being sexual? Especially at the age that they are at.

Also, the storyline around the orgy is weak. Eddie can't remember where he is going in the tunnels. Bev says oh wait, I have a solution, you all have to have lose your virginity to me. Voila, Eddie remembers the way out? The way that Bev coaxes each one into doing it is also uncomfortable. Because she is a girl, the boys must want to do it? They all seem pressured into it.

I don't know. I struggled with finishing after that scene. I genuinely like the book other than this issue. I just don't think it was necessary. I liked having them be innocent children defeating a supernatural being. The contrast of adulthood already existed because we were reading about them as adults and children at the same time.

Other than that -- I love the supernatural aspect. I had no idea that the monster was anything other than a clown when I started the book, so that was a great surprise. It got pretty trippy but I was into it.


message 10: by Calvin Tower (new)

Calvin Tower (calvintower) | 54 comments My favorite part about the book is how he tired it into so many of his other books. It made my day when the kids were easing dancing in 11/22/63. Kind of like bumping into an old friend unexpectedly.


message 11: by Nick (last edited Oct 07, 2017 08:58PM) (new)

Nick Mariah - I had a problem with that scene too. I thought it was unnecessary and didn't make a lot of sense. If I were the editor I would have made a case for taking that part out.


message 12: by Lyn (new)

Lyn (sinovera) | 16 comments Calvin Tower wrote: "My favorite part about the book is how he tired it into so many of his other books. It made my day when the kids were easing dancing in 11/22/63. Kind of like bumping into an old friend unexpectedly."
Hah, yes, I really like that too. In The Stand, he randomly puts in the line "Hiho Silver, away!" in someone's dream/vision.


message 13: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Calvin Tower wrote: "My favorite part about the book is how he tired it into so many of his other books. It made my day when the kids were easing dancing in 11/22/63. Kind of like bumping into an old friend unexpectedly."

I don't know how much King you have read, but this is his Hallmark. He has an entire microverse of his won design and they all tie in, either in small or large ways. That's the fun of reading his books in order of release.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 559 comments For me, the book is cool. It was scary, and it was fun to read about a neighborhood similar to mine as it was in the 1960’s.


message 15: by Kaseadillla (new)

Kaseadillla | 1349 comments Mod
This book felt epic to me. The people were real, I felt genuinely invested in the story, and even though it was about a small, unknown town, the fight to me felt like this huge thing. I was sad when everyone started forgetting at the end. I thought it was a very clever and nostalgic-esque ending.


message 16: by Summer (new)

Summer (paradisecity) | 37 comments Kaseadillla wrote: " I was sad when everyone started forgetting at the end. I thought it was a very clever and nostalgic-esque ending...."

The ending breaks my heart every time. It's probably a good thing -- who would want to remember that horror? -- but it makes me sad they they forget their friendships too.


daniela (daniela_nieblina) | 336 comments I just finished listening to the book, and it enjoyed it so much despite its 'missing' chapter. If anyone knows what chapter it was and how I can get my hands on just that chapter, (I never go to the library) I would really appreciate it.

Regardless I loved the book, despite the icky scene (which I agree was unnecessary for the plot line) and Bev's sexualization (I also noted this many times. Its understandable when the boy's see it, but feels horribly perverse when the narrator talks about her body).

Having never finished a Steven King book because I am horribly scared of anything that goes bump in the night, I didn't expect to enjoy the humanity this book offered. The love and friendship depicted in the book is so touching, that I found myself crying and smiling instead of cringing in fear.


message 18: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Daniela wrote: "I just finished listening to the book, and it enjoyed it so much despite its 'missing' chapter. If anyone knows what chapter it was and how I can get my hands on just that chapter, (I never go to t..."

What "missing chapter" are you talking about?


message 19: by Nick (new)

Nick Maybe Daniela is talking about the parts that were edited from the (even) longer draft.

I agree with what you have posted above Kaseadillla. The epic scale of the story and how you get completely invested in the plot and the characters... Not to mention spending weeks with the corpulent four pound volume that gets attached to you. I was a little sad when I finished the book and put it on a shelf.


message 20: by Martina (new)

Martina Bučková | 145 comments Did anyone have also the feeling that the last pages about the Bill riding a bike with Audra was totally waste of time? Or was it only me? I also hated the sex part between the kids of 12 years it's a bit weird.
I found the differences between the movie and the book great as I did not feel that the new movie spoiled anything for me. Both of them I enjoyed a lot. Although after time I must admit that I liked Shining more than It.


message 21: by Tonya (new)

Tonya (bookasaurustonya) | 50 comments Martina wrote: "Did anyone have also the feeling that the last pages about the Bill riding a bike with Audra was totally waste of time? Or was it only me? I also hated the sex part between the kids of 12 years it'..."

I wasn't a fan of the sex scene either. I get that it was to bring them back "together" but I didn't like it. Especially after she had literally just ran away from her father who was going to sexually abuse her.

I didn't like the part about Bill and Audra on the bike. I think it's supposed to show that as they rode away, Audra was getting better. That being in Derry was what caused her to remain catatonic because she wasn't originally part of the group. I think them getting in a car and driving away or on a plane would have been better.


message 22: by Nick (new)

Nick As you know the movie is only half of the whole story. The filmmakers divided into one part the kids' story and the next part grownups' story.

I thought The ending with Bill on the bike was kinda weak too. It might have been better to end it with Mike's notes.


message 23: by Erika (new)

Erika | 1 comments I just finished reading the book this Friday and although it took me a while to finish it, I was not disappointed. If anything it made me realize how much I now dislike the movies. King’s detail in the book was sometimes unnecessary but it also gave great insight.
I particularly liked when he took It’s point of view. I had no idea that It was female so that was a big shocker for me.
As for the orgy scene... I was shocked. There are no words to even express the discomfort I felt when reading that scene but I don’t think the book would have progressed without that scene. In a way it fits perfectly with the storyline.


message 24: by Martina (last edited Oct 23, 2017 09:27AM) (new)

Martina Bučková | 145 comments Erika wrote: "I just finished reading the book this Friday and although it took me a while to finish it, I was not disappointed. If anything it made me realize how much I now dislike the movies. King’s detail in..."

I also had no clue that the monster is a pregnant spider. But actually I found that cool and it made sense, explaining why they had to go back to kill her. And I also find spiders really hideous so it fit hahaha :D :D


daniela (daniela_nieblina) | 336 comments Nick wrote: "Maybe Daniela is talking about the parts that were edited from the (even) longer draft.

Kandice wrote: "Daniela wrote:

Sorry for the late reply! When looking at comments and reviews on Audible, many mentioned that there was a whole chapter missing. I was assuming that they had read the original and that's why they knew it was missing. I have no knowledge about a draft and the editing or any of that stuff.

Martina wrote: "Did anyone have also the feeling that the last pages about the Bill riding a bike with Audra was totally waste of time? Or was it only me? I also hated the sex part between the kids of 12 years it'..."
Agreed. It seemed like an odd way to go. Perhaps King didn't want to leave Audrey dead because Bill had already lost so much in his life, but I think a side note in Mike's notes about Bill calling and saying she had gotten better would have sufficed. Silver had no real reason to reappear, as far as I could see.


message 26: by Kristin (new)

Kristin Ames (kmames) | 147 comments I am surprised to hear that so many people liked the ending of this book with the biggest complaint being bill riding off on his bike. I felt the whole ending of the book was awful starting with the child sex scene. I felt king did a marvelous job with exploring the characters and suspense building making Derry this super eerie place. Then they are about to encounter “It” to destroy it for good and my heart was pounding and I was so excited to see what form pure evil would take and it...it was a giant f**ing spider...what...talk about let down. Maybe it’s just the fact I am not scared by spiders (I am not scared of clowns either but pennywise was horrifying), but out of all the possible forms it could take...a spider...come on. Don’t even get me started on the whole turtle bit. I felt like I was watching an m night shyamalan movie. I love Stephen king but I feel there are a good chunk of his novels where I loved the journey but was let down at the ending.


daniela (daniela_nieblina) | 336 comments Kristin wrote: "I am surprised to hear that so many people liked the ending of this book with the biggest complaint being bill riding off on his bike. I felt the whole ending of the book was awful starting with th..."

Since I went into the book knowing it had to be a spider, it wasn't disappointing to me. Although I can see how someone who had no prior knowledge would be disappointed... I was weird-ed out by the turtle thing as well. But it makes sense when you think about how most of America's horror culture comes from giant creepy-crawlies. Just look at the movies the Losers were watching as kids, and you get an idea of what would be terrifying for them. After all, It isn't a spider. The book stated that was the closest the human mind can perceive It as. There's still a glamour involved, even though now it's not longer under It's control.

To me, what made no sense was how It was reproducing. It could be asexual, that's not the issue. My problem with it was the fact that when we got It's perspective, It was afraid of not being alone. That there was something OTHER. Neither did we get a hint of it wanting to reproduce, or spread itself out. It seemed pretty content being alone.
Why the eggs?

(the traumatizing scene I caught as a child was the spider's lair. I knew it was the movie about the clown, and the lair was full of spiderwebs and people-food. Took my child mind no time at all to make that conection)


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 559 comments There are spiders, and then there are SPIDERS. In Australia, sometimes people wake up to spiders as big as people’s hands with shapes and hair that cause instinctive screams of panic. I am not an Australian, but a social media friend posts pictures of spiders she comes across in her house! Plus they move fast. Where I live, spiders are small, one color, mostly black, and not terrifying. These Australian ‘beauties’ are definitely monsters! They have faces and mouth bits that are totally creepy looking.

🕷


message 29: by Tessa (new)

Tessa Jackson | 1 comments I have finished this book a few weeks ago and I totally loved IT (got it? ;) ).I have no problems with monsters or blood or even the strong language used in the book BUT I hated the sex scene and the scene where Henry kills Mikes dog ,the last one might be a connection to:

!!!ATTENTION SPOILER FOR MR.MERCEDES!!!

Because Brady wants to kill Jeromes dog the same way ( with hamburger meat and poison) but dosen't succed.All in all,a great book.


message 30: by Nick (last edited Oct 27, 2017 09:50AM) (new)

Nick I think just about everyone hates that child orgy part.

And I have always wondered about the violence and cruelty towards dogs in books. It comes up again and again in both literary and popular fiction. And it makes me feel awful every time.

Violence and crueltytowards mankind, well...


daniela (daniela_nieblina) | 336 comments Well, I thought it was quite obviously a characteristic to suggest that Henry had psychological issues. Issues that would have lead him to be a sociopath or psychopath and basically be a serial killer once older. The other boy as well, can't remember his name. The one who killed his brother.

As an animal lover myself, I also cringe and feel uncomfortable during those scenes, but do feel like they are necessary for character development.


message 32: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Nick wrote: "And I have always wondered about the violence and cruelty towards dogs in books. It comes up again and again in both literary and popular fiction. And it makes me feel awful every time...."

The Dead Zone opens with a dog cruelty scene as well.


message 34: by Leesa (new)

Leesa I loved it and it would have nearly been perfect for me except for the length and that scene.

Although I loved all of the detail he put into describing the towns history and past the length was exhausting to me and I would have preferred a couple of hundred pages less.

Also the sex scene, although seemingly necessary in some ways was uncomfortable to read through. Could they not all have kissed or something a little less graphic?!

I didn't have any idea that there was more to pennywise so I enjoyed the twist the book took with the final monster (I hate spiders).

I felt that I was content with the way the story ended. Most books leave me with questions or wanting more, but this duality of reading about the characters child and adults lives together has left me satisfied overall and feeling that the story is complete.
I'm so pleased we read it!


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 559 comments You know, I wonder at most of us feeling the orgy was wrong, but not one comment about the violence, torture, murders, and general psychological terror of youngsters.


message 36: by Nick (new)

Nick That's a good point. You know what they say about American Puritanism... There was a lot of awful things happening to the kids throughout the book but that orgy thing really stuck out like a sore thumb.

Anyway I feel like we're sort of dwelling on this a bit much. There are many others things we can talk about.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 559 comments I linked to spiders and we did the sex to death. What do you want to suggest, Nick?

For myself, as I was born in the 1950’s and grew up in a neighborhood similar to King’s, the book was deeply reminiscent of my own youth. How many readers like me were struck first and mostly by how well King described that period, and the horror was second to it, actually. After many King reads, I think a 1960’s childhood haunts him more than anything else. ‘It’ is number one of those books King wrote which most hits the mark of 1960’s childhoods and neighborhoods.


message 38: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 729 comments 5 stars from me! I absolutely loved this book! I was reading this book for over 2 months due to a case of Page Fright. Could it be shorter? Yes. Would I want it to be? No. He makes his characters so incredibly relatable with the little details of their lives, down to the tiniest details like having to go to the bathroom.

The new movie makes a lot more sense to me after reading the book, since it’s about the beginning of their journey and their fears as children. I really hope the sequel steps it up a notch and uses better special effects, is more terrifying, and less goofy!

Parts of the book that actually raised my heartbeat:
When Ben is on the bridge and all of a sudden the clown is close and touching his shoe.

When Mike is asleep in the library and wakes up to mud tracks leading only one way and a balloon with his face on it with the eyes gouged out.

The clown touching Bev’s foot from under the door outside her hotel room.

In the book, the fortune cookie scene made me cringe but wasn’t terrifying to read. But it is the only scene I remember from the old movie when I was a kid. Terrified me as a child!

The clown in the book is described in a truly grotesque and terrifying way, with black eye sockets and sagging skin. Would love to see this in the movies.

It was hard for me to visualize the ritual of chud and Richie and Bill shooting through the darkness. Would love to know how King saw this all happening in his mind as he wrote it.

Once they are facing IT at the end of the book, things got weird. I found myself more into what was happening above ground than in the sewers! Pocket Hurricane, exploding toilets, beer taps pouring blood, etc.

The orgy scene.... my only thought aside from “how disturbing” was...: they are covered in shit!

At the end, the phone call between Mikey and Richie when they realize they are forgetting and tell each other they love each other made me so sad!

I will probably read this book again one day far in the future, but until then I REALLY look forward to reading more of King’s stuff! Especially because I love how he uses characters in different books, like Dick Hallorann from The Shining being in this book. Love it!!

For King fans: I started rewatching Stranger Things season 1 to refresh my memory before starting season 2 and all I could think was “this is so similar to IT!!” So I googled, and it turns out it’s no coincidence! The Duffer Brothers, who made Stranger Things, wanted the rights to the new IT movie but didn’t get it, so instead they created Stranger Things as an homage to King. Google Stranger Things vs. IT and you’ll find some cool info!

Time to read all of these spoilers now! :)


message 39: by Leesa (new)

Leesa Good comments Sarah! I loved it too and can't wait to read more Stephen King books!
Also can't wait to watch the movie too...


message 40: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 729 comments Thanks, Leesa! I’m stoked to watch the old movie. It’ll be 2 weekends from now, as I’ll be out of town this coming weekend. I’m going to buy IT on ITunes, which is funny because the last and only other movie I’ve bought on there was Misery after I read that King novel. I might be accidentally starting my own little King collection....


message 41: by Kaseadillla (new)

Kaseadillla | 1349 comments Mod
Sarah that's what I thought was so impressive about this book - it literally got my heart pumping. Very rarely do I feel so affected while reading, and this was just so well done in those parts.

I think I really took to this also because it was the little things that made this feel epic, and therefore, so real. Any part where they were discussing history and what happened the last time "IT" showed up in town, how they pieced it all together... I was so intrigued and interested in those parts. I wish I could write something like this.


message 42: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 729 comments Ditto to everything you said, Kasey!


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EVERYONE Has Read This but Me - The Catch-Up...

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Books mentioned in this topic

The Dead Zone (other topics)
The Stand (other topics)
It (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Stephen King (other topics)